Creamy Mussel Soup
with Saffron and White Wine
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 to 40 minutes
This is a perfect first-course soup. Saffron adds not only its subtle flavor but beautiful color.
- 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large leek (white and tender green), well rinsed and minced
- 1 medium celery rib, minced
- 2-1/2 cups fish stock or clam juice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 black peppercoms
- 12 parsley stems
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a nonreactive soup pot, combine mussels and wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and cook until mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove mussels from shells, reserving 6 large mussels and 6 half-shells for garnish. Discard any mussels that don't open. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a large bowl.
- In same soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add fish stock, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, saffron, remaining cooked mussels, and reserved mussel liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- In a food processor or blender, purée soup in batches until smooth and return to soup pot. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with cream and stir into soup. Add salt and pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain soup through a sieve into a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Divide soup among 6 soup plates and garnish each serving with a mussel on the half-shell.
365 Great Soups & Stews
by Georgia Chan Downard and Jean Galton
January 18, 1996
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
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This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007